Saturday, July 28, 2012

In search of a daycare (checklist)

Over the last few months, I've been on the hunt for a daycare for Baby Arch. Until yesterday, most of them have made me contemplate playing the lottery until I win and can become a rich stay-at-home-mom. But alas, that's not in the cards. I interviewed with a woman who runs a daycare out of her home and was extremely pleased with what I saw and her rules/philosophies. Big thanks to my sister for asking her co-workers if they had any daycare recommendations!

Anyways, before I began my search, I was scouring the mommy blogs for what questions I should ask, red flags to be aware of and anything else I would need to know to make a good decision. I've gone through 5 daycare (in-home and facility) interviews so far and this compiled list has covered the bases for me. So I thought I'd share. Hopefully it helps!
  • Daycare facility
  • Contact name
  • Daily and/or weekly rate?
  • Workplace discount?
  • Flexible part-time days?
  • Pickup/drop off fee if late?
  • What happens on snow days?
  • Included amenities/provisions
  • Separate infant/sleeping room?
  • Open door policy for parents?
  • State/first-aid/CPR certified?
  • Still pay if child isn't there (sick/vacation)?
  • Sickness during the day?
  • Sickness/lice outbreak?
  • Emergency protocol
  • Daily reports/updates?
  • Cloth diapers allowed?
  • Safety policy/entrance security?
  • Car seats left behind?
  • Webcam?
  • Can other relatives pick up?
  • Availability/waiting list?
  • Registration fees?
  • Additional notes
Here's a link to Michigan's daycare brochure that also includes a checklist of things to keep in mind.

Also, check online for any violations a daycare may have. Just ask Google; should come right up. I was a bit shocked/discouraged when I read up on some in-home care violations. Some are so tedious, I blew them off... but others included hitting children, letting them wander the neighborhood, you know, super awesome stuff like that that scares the pants off expecting parents. Good luck in your search!
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